The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-4 following the first seven games of football in the 2021 NFL season.
Not many (if any) would have predicted that the back-to-back AFC Champions and 2020 Super Bowl Champions would be in this position.
For weeks, the media has been saying that Chiefs fans should not panic.
While it is a long 17 game regular season, if things continue to progress like they are, the Chiefs could miss the postseason altogether in 2021.
Here are three reasons why that could happen.
3. Competitive AFC Teams
The Chiefs are tied for third in their division with the Denver Broncos.
Leading the division are the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.
This is a high level of competition just in their AFC West division.
Fanning out into the rest of the AFC, there are the Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals.
If the Chiefs do not win the AFC West, getting a wildcard spot could be a very difficult task given they are currently below .500, and every team in the AFC North is currently at or above .500.
Seven teams from the AFC will make the playoffs. Right now, four of the top eight teams in the AFC come from the AFC North. Those four teams are separated by two games. With two-thirds of the season to go.
I love this division. #Bengals #Browns #Ravens #Steelers
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 25, 2021
2. Chiefs Defense
The Chiefs defense is not playing well.
If Kansas City's defense gets any worse, the Chiefs may go out and sign another wide receiver. #KCvsTEN
— Phil Lemos (@Phil_Lemos) October 24, 2021
They are giving up a lot of points and forcing the offense to play catch up.
Washington Football Team scored 13 points on the Chiefs, but all other opponents were either in the high 20s or into the 30s.
Opponents are scoring in the red zone.
19 out of 26 opponents’ drives in the red zone have led to scores.
That is 73% of the time.
Opponents are 6 for 8 on fourth down conversions against the Chiefs defense.
Quarterback sacks are difficult to come by for the Chiefs also; they have eight through seven games.
Any way you look at the Chiefs’ defensive statistics, they are not good.
1. Patrick Mahomes
Tough stretch for Patrick Mahomes
— Leads NFL with 9 INTs (tied with Zach Wilson)
— Six straight games with a pick (longest of career)
— 16 INTs in 16 games
— 2 turnovers today
— Down 27-0 at halftime to Titans pic.twitter.com/twecOqIUW3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 24, 2021
Mahomes is off this year.
His defense is not doing him any favors so he is perhaps forcing things to keep his team in games.
Watch the @Chiefs game again and you’ll walk away saying:
“That looks like a QB trying to score 21 points in every throw he knows his defense is that bad”
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) October 11, 2021
It is not working.
He has been sacked 14 times through seven games.
Last season, he was sacked 22 times in 15 games.
He has thrown nine interceptions in seven games.
His highest number of interceptions in a season is 12 through 16 games in 2018.
What Can The Chiefs Do?
Maurice Jones-Drew talked about what the offense should do on NFL Network’s post game show on Sunday night, October 24, 2021.
There is plenty of talent and star power on the Chiefs offense.
He said they should go back to the install plan and work fundamentals.
MJD thinks they are trying to do too much, and if they just went back to basics for a refresher, the whole thing would come together.
The defensive answer is more baffling because that could be a personnel issue.
With the trade deadline approaching, could there be possible pickups for them on the horizon?
Plenty of time to turn this in the right direction. KC broke a 22 years steak of zero playoff wins in 2015. That was the last time They didn't win the AFC West. That year the @Chiefs started out 1-5.
Football is hard. Chiefs fandom is not for the faint of heart.
— Thunder Dan (@ThunderDan88) October 25, 2021
They are by no means out of contention.
It is too early, but the sense of urgency is definitely getting a little greater.